Thursday, August 27, 2009



My wedding bouquet is included in a post on sfgirlbybay this morning! How cool is that? I love her blog. It makes me crave another trip to San Francisco. (Pssst. I might get to go in January.)

I met with a couple friends last night who are starting a business that specializes in designing closet systems for shoe gals. I helped them out with some photo services so they're going to help pimp my 8 cubic foot closet.

Of my list of 5 things to finish this week, I've so far finished 3. Niiiiice.

I'm going to Kansas City to shop with a couple girl friends over Labor Day. Better get some of those invoices sent out so mama has some spending cash...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Well, hello!

Oh, hi there, Dottie Girl Tote!

How are you?

I'm well.

What's that? You want me to buy you?

Okay... If you insist... Just don't tell my husband, okay?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Khaki Dreams

I had a truly funny dream last night that I was dating the fictional man Vincent Chase, not to be confused with the real person Adrian Grenier. We were at some fancy restaurant with Ari for lunch and the waitress started coping attitude with me. She was saying that I wasn't "a ten" and shouldn't be with Vince, she wanted to bone him, blah blah blah. I said to her, "You think you should be with him, not me? Then explain to me why I'm having lunch with him and you're serving us iced tea in pleated front khaki pants."

Aw snap! That'll teach slutty waitresses to mess with my man. Also, who knew my hostility toward khaki extended that far into my sub-conscience?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Easiest Freaking Homemade Ice Cream in the World

I cannot believe this. Sugar free, fat free, everything free, one ingredient homemade ice cream. I will be stopping at the store today to buy the ripest bananas I can find...

How To Make Creamy Ice Cream With Just One Ingredient

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Chicago - Day Two

The next morning we filled our guts with Dunkin Donuts blueberry coffee and checked out of the hotel. How awesome is it that it cost $89 for the room and $22 for parking? We didn't really have anywhere to go or anything to do, so we drove downtown and just walked around for a while.

We walked to the Navy Pier...

Where I had my picture taken standing on yet another pier.

What is it about standing on a dock overlooking a body of water that is so interesting to those of us that are land locked? Seriously, here's pretty much the exact same picture of me in San Francisco at Pier 39:

Navy Pier is boring so we left and thought we'd go up to the new sky deck at the Sears Tower but we chickened out after viewing the building from the ground.

So, we went and got Portillo's instead.

I have to pause for a minute and explain what Portillo's means to my family. My mom's family lives outside Chicago and from the earliest memories I have of visiting them, I remember eating Portillo's. After stopping at my aunt and uncle's house, it was always the second place we would go when we got to Bolingbrook. Then after the invention of cell phones, it became the first. We'd pull onto Boughton Road, call and get everyone's order, and pick it up on the way to their house. Portillo's hotdogs and Italian beefs are two of the most delicious things in the world. Bar none.

After eating we were ready to go home. Leaving Chicago is a pain in the ass though. It took about 90 minutes longer to get home than it did to get there. But we got to check out the Iowa sunset on the way home so that was sort of okay.

Chicago - Day One

Matt and I went to Chicago on Thursday for a Brendan Benson concert.

Ahh. Mazing.

The drive out was uneventful, other than paying roughly $84.75 in road tolls and me screaming, "OMG, Kate Spade outlet! Shut Up!" somewhere outside Chicago. But otherwise, a boring seven hours.

We stayed at the City Suites Hotel since it was blocks away from the show. It was an average place - not nearly as nice as it looks in the photos but not scary enough to make me run screaming from the premises. They did have some amazingly beautiful charcoal gray velvet duvets that I was afraid to touch. I did give one a little pat and it was super soft. Probably covered in semen and staphylococcus, but yes, super soft.

After we got everything settled in we walked around the corner to The Chicago Diner. I read about it on Princess Lasertron's blog and then it turned out to be right there, so we checked it out. Matt had seitan enchiladas and I had sweet potato quesadillas. His was fantastic and mine tasted like someone put baby food in my lunch. I would definitely eat there again though. The beans, guacamole, and salsa were fantastic.

After eating we took a nap in our room, watched part of Cocktail (the worst movie ever made thank you very much 80s Tom Cruise), and got buzzed on a bottle of wine. Then the following series of events took place which resulted in my husband being the happiest man alive:

(Sorry, Jen. If you're reading this you'll have to deal with hearing this story one more time.)

We were planning on walking to Schuba's where the show was, but after talking to my dad and having him essentially convince me that I would be abducted and murdered if I walked anywhere in Chicago, we got a cab. So we took the 45 second cab ride to the bar and got there 15 minutes earlier than planned. We sat down in the last 2 seats at the end of the bar, ordered beers (Chicago loves its Stella), and as we were reaching into our pockets to pay for them... the power for the entire block went out. Brendan Benson had two shows that night, and the first show was in its encore when it was cut short. It was about 8:50, we weren't sure what was going on, it was chaotic... I turned around to look out the window behind me just as Brendan was walking behind us. I nudged Matt to turn around but he ducked into the back room through to a door next to us.

Then he stuck his head back out.

And then my husband yelled to him, "You're the shit! We drove here from Omaha to see you tonight."

And Brendan said, "Thanks man, that's awesome!"

And then my husband fell a little bit more in love with Brendan Benson and called all his friends in the dark to tell them the story I just told you.

It took about 40 minutes for the power to come back on, but if it hadn't gone out in the first place, Matt wouldn't have gotten to give a shout out to his idol. Everything starting with the phone call to my Dad to the power going out was one huge case of happenstance.

The show was super fucking fantastic. We were about four feet back from The Man as evidenced by this grainy camera phone picture:

Turns out I could have brought my entire camera set up into the bar and no one would have stopped me. But that's okay. I didn't really need photos. I stole the gig poster out of the bathroom and had it in my bag. :)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Yawn. Monday Morning...

It's a short workweek for me. Matt and I are going to Chicago later in the week to see Brendan Benson...

Friday night Matt and I saw District 9. (I kept calling it 9th Ward. Oops.) For the first time ever in my experience, the movie didn't start on time. It started nearly 15 minutes late. It was like being stuck in a plane on the runway with 500 teenagers on board. (Loud, hot, cell phones going off, everyone getting tense, no alcohol.)

Saturday night I went out with some girls. It was declared to be a Dress to Impress night, which in Omaha equates to upgrading your black flip-flops to the pair with glitter. No one ever dresses up in this city. Which, don't get me wrong, I greatly appreciate a Sunday afternoon. But sometimes a girl just wants to look good. I went all-out and wore my birthday dress, black Betseyville shoes with big plastic bows on the vamps, a snake cocktail ring, oversized pearl necklace, polkadot purse, and bright red shiny lipstick. I looked like a hybrid of goth/pin-up/Minnie Mouse. I officially managed to impress one man at a bar who told me, "Your dress is fucking awesome." Mission accomplished.

Later Saturday night (approximately 11:00PM - officially marking my oldness) I shed my Hot Topic couture in favor of pjs and sat in bed with Dingo eating Sonic onion rings, watching DVRd episodes of LA Ink. It was heavenly.

Sunday morning I ran with Jen. We did 7 miles in 66 minutes which is probably a world record or something. I never payed attention to my time in the past, but that's because a 7 mile run took me 90 minutes. I never thought I'd be able to run at this pace, ever. At least not without a bionic leg transplant. We also decided to register for a mini triathlon with the UNO women's athletics department. It's a 100 yard swim, 6 mile or under bike ride, and 1.5 mile or under run. There are no times or awards so we thought it would be a good way to test out a little triathlon to see how it goes. Lifejackets are allowed in the lake so you can bet your ass I'll be taking advantage of that. I have not swam since junior high and I'm not going to rely on memory to keep me from drowning in a dirty lake.

Friday, August 14, 2009

I Don't Need to Pay the Mortgage, Do I?

This morning I found the website and my life was forever changed. It's like google for clothes. I've been looking for The Perfect Leather Jacket that will revolutionize my style, make me feel chic, get me back stage at a Kings Of Leon show, prove my status as a rock wife, and otherwise ooze awesomeness. I want something that is, in a word, rad.

And I found it on ShopStyle.

It's exactly what I want. Cropped, black, slim cut. I can wear it with dresses, skirts or jeans. I can wear it to work even.

A couple of problems though...

1. It is from Juicy Couture. I cannot knowingly contribute my money to a brand of clothing that popularized printing words like "JUICY" across a woman's ass. I simply can't. Juicy Couture is for rich girls who want to look kicky when they run for coffee on a Sunday morning. It's for Pussycat Dolls and lovers of Kathy Zealand bags. It is not for me... except I want it so bad right now.

2. This jacket costs $898. Yes, seriously. For that.

Oh. Dear. Jesus???

I sincerely apologize to everyone in advance for the images you are about to see...

These images give me a serious case of the heeby jeebies. WTF is up with a giant crucified Jesus statue in the dining room? Keep in mind that this is someone's HOME! Can you imagine getting up in the middle of the night for a drink of water and having to walk past that thing???

Don't take it personal, Jesus. I have no problem with someone wanting to display religious art in their home. Knock yourselves out. But this? This is downright freaky. A giant statue of any man, regardless of his level of holiness, hanging on the wall in the dining room is effing weird.

I stole these from Apartment Therapy. Clicky the linky if you wish to see the full house tour.


Can you guess what I made from looking at this picture (and ignoring the post title)?

I made ratatouille!

It was sooooo good. I was thinking about the movie Ratatouille and I wondered what exactly was in ratatouille. I googled it, then looked in the fridge and it just so happened that I had everything needed to make it. (Everything minus red wine, but I figured I was close enough.)

To start, sauté onions and green peppers in olive oil. I only sautéed mine long enough to make them a little transparent because I'm ridiculously impatient, but they would probably taste fantastic if I'd browned them.

I then threw in Italian parsley and garlic and about 3/4 of a jar of sauce. Heat that up a little bit and then throw about a cup of the yumminess in the bottom of a baking dish.

That looks good enough to eat on its own...

Slice an eggplant, green zucchini and yellow zucchini. I had the world's biggest zucchinis, so only used about a third of them. I chopped and froze the rest and I kid you not, the remainder filled five baggies. I could feed a 3rd world country for a month with the zucchini in my freezer.

Toss the sliced veggies in the pot with the sauce and heat it for about ten minutes. Now, I actually put the eggplant in first for about five minutes because it takes a little longer to soften up than the zucchini. So, the eggplant got ten minutes and the zucchini got five.

Slice up your tomatoes (as many as you'd like) and grab the baking dish. Layer the slices of veggies and tomatoes in the dish and pour the remainder of the sauce over the top. I think I then cooked it for about 40 minutes at 350. You could leave it in there for an hour if you have the kind of self-control that I am obviously lacking.

Yumm. Yumm. Yumm. Grab a big scoop of it and sprinkle some parmesan on top. I intended to eat it over rice but realized I didn't have any as I was boiling the water for it. I went for garlic bread instead, which I feel ended up being an excellent choice.

I think this would also taste amazing as a real stew or over chicken, pasta, a piece of cardboard, anything remotely digestible by the human body. As a little bonus it's also a seriously easy and delicious vegetarian meal. You could even make it vegan if you left off the parmesan, but really? Why would you want to do that?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Jojo's 2nd Birthday

On Sunday, we had a family get-together in honor of a couple birthdays and some family being in town. That in turn became an unofficial second birthday shoot of Jojo. She was eating a chocolate cupcake (I'm the childless idiot who gave a two year old chocolate frosting) and she looked so cute, so precious that I couldn't resist.

And she's incredibly patient with me when I stick a camera in her face so there's that too.

See what she's holding in her hand there? It's a chocolate covered camera. She probably liked it because it's pink, but I choose to think that she liked it because she has so much admiration for her dear aunty who is always bugging the crap out of her with a lens six inches from her face.

I cannot get over her eyes in this picture. They're usually a greenish color, but they ended up bright blue in this shot. I have no idea how or why but I'll take it. I let out an audible, "Awwwwww!" Every time I look at it.

My heart melts for this kid. She's the sweetest little girl in the world. I told her parents I want to have ten babies just like her some day.

But for now I'll settle for just being her aunt.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Birthday Buys

Well, here I am. I've reached my ideal age and I've decided that I am going to remain this age forever. 26 is old enough to sound like an adult, while still young enough to sound like a spring chicken.

I also decided that I'm old enough now to not feel insecure about my age. I feel like people scoff at 20-25 but 26 is considered mature. So, I decided to treat myself to a couple of completely age inappropriate birthday presents to celebrate reaching maturity. I figure if my face still looks like an eighteen year old's what's the point in trying to fight it. I might as well just look like a damn child from top to bottom and relish in it while I still can. Behold:

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Inspirational Images

I keep a little folder on my desktop full of amazing things I find on the internet. Only it's not just one little folder due to my inability to not organize things. There's a photo for food, paper goods, design, home decorating (divided up further by room), style/clothes and photography. See, completely anal.

Here's a couple of my favorite ones from the photography folder. The first one I've already posted, but I thought it deserved to be revisited. These images make my heart drop. They're so incredible.

By Toni Frissell

By Rodney Smith

By Gary Winogrand

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Before and After: Accent Wall

A while back, I saw a picture online of a black and white striped accent wall in an entryway. I loved the look, so last weekend I set out to replicate the look in our house. Matt was out of town (painting is my favorite way to pass the time while he's gone) so Jen came over and assisted.

Here's the wall before:

And after:

I've hated the dingy looking kitchen paint since we moved into the house. It just seemed like a dead spot in our otherwise vibrant color palette. The cabinets, backsplash and tile are all a little on the dark side so I didn't want to paint the kitchen walls solid red to match the rest of the house.

I started by painting the creamy off-white kitchen walls a stark white. Then we used a laser-level and painter's tape to tape off 4 inch wide red stripes on this narrow section of wall. The overall effect makes the narrow section of wall look a lot wider and the ceiling look taller, something I wasn't expecting to happen.

I really love the stripes but I'm not completely thrilled with the white paint in the rest of the kitchen. It looks like we primed and then forgot to paint. There isn't really a lot of wall place once you factor in the back door, windows and cabinets, so I thought it might be cool to paint red vertical stripes in the other wall. But I want to avoid making the kitchen look like the inside of a circus tent. (My dad already asked me if calliope music plays when you walk in the door.)

Monday, August 3, 2009

Eggplant Parmesan

I'm in a remarkably good mood today and posting like a crazy person as a result! My friend Eric reminded me this morning of something I strongly believe in. Saying, "I don't have time," is just a polite way of saying "It's not a priority to me." I always think I don't have time to blog anymore, but really I just wasn't making it a priority. I also use that excuse for running, getting print materials, and restocking my Etsy shop. So, no more excuses. I'm going to start making sure I take the time everyday to make more *fun* things a priority, not just businessy things.

This weekend I got caught up on editing two large shoots that were bogging down my brain. I did three new ones but I feel caught up to the point where it's not overwhelming anymore. I also spent a lot of time with my friend Jen and we finished a painting project that I'll post later.

Matt was gone all weekend so I ate mostly leftovers or went out for meals. Sunday I wanted to make something really good for dinner since he'd be home. I decided on chicken parmesan.

So, I went to the store.

And I looked at the chicken.

And I couldn't believe how expensive chicken breasts are.

I thought about it for a minute and went over to the produce section. How about eggplant parmesan instead? Two fresh chicken breasts were something like $7. A big honkin eggplant was 99 cents. So, eggplant it was.

I had never cooked an eggplant before and it kind of scared me - this huge purple bulb with a funny hat... A quick google search showed me just how easy it is. Slice up the eggplant, bread it, fry it, done. I'm not going to lie, it was pretty good. Not fantastic, but I think if I made it again it would be better. I'm surprised at how meaty in texture it was. It felt thick and substantial, more so than most produce does when you fry it up. Kind of like a fried portobello.

I loosely followed some instructions that said to slice it 3/4 of an inch thick. Personally, I think it was too thick. I thought some of the bigger slices tasted too much like cucumbers. Next time I'll slice it 1/3 of an inch. To bread, I dipped the slices in egg wash, flour, egg wash again, then bread crumbs. Then I pan fried it in a bit of olive oil.

I got about 10 slices out of my 99 cent eggplant so it was definitely worth the money. I plan on cooking it again. I'm on another one of those "meat is disgusting" benders (that will probably only last until the next time I smell bacon) so I'm trying to come up with some good stuff. I want to try a mushroom and eggplant veggie burger next.

Drooling Over Real Estate

If I had half a million dollars, I would buy this house. The architecture is insane! Look at those widows! And the floor! And the fireplace! And the ceiling! Look at it in all of its 1950s glory:

And if half a bazillion dollars for a house seems like too much, I'd also settle for this one at only $250K. Peep the size of the refrigerator! This one is actually bank owned on a default so $250K is an absolute freaking deal. It's valued at $490K.

Kelly's Bouquet

Check out Kelly's amazing bouquet!

I seriously love her wedding bouquet. It's so fun and whimsical. And the striped ruffle flowers just kill me. They're so adorable.

And the rose boutonnieres? What's cuter than these?